The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was officially founded on March 8, 1817, some 25 years after the Buttonwood Agreement was signed by 24 brokers under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street (1792). The Buttonwood Agreement, a two-sentence contract, marked the beginning of organized securities trading in the United States. Early trading occurred outdoors, under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street, before moving to a rented room at 40 Wall Street in 1817.
Initially named the New York Stock & Exchange Board, the NYSE provided a centralized location for brokers to trade stocks and bonds, fostering liquidity, price transparency, and market efficiency. The first listed company on the NYSE was the Bank of New York, and only five securities traded in the early days. Over time, the NYSE grew to become the largest and most influential stock exchange globally, significantly impacting the financial landscape.